The Agony and the Ecstasy

I prefer not to be the kind of traveler who has a detailed itinerary for every place that he visits, or even necessarily any place at all. It is my guaranteed movement from this place to the next that guarantees any type of action within the present. I find this gives me enough spontaneity to enjoy my current locale and generally reduces the stress that can make a return from some vacations a vacation in itself. Relaxed enjoyment of a place is my goal, not a collection of sites seen. 

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Speak, Memory

I'll never be able to forget the Pantheon, for as long as I live. And I'll never want to. I can't number the times I've been to that building. I used to stop in for 2 seconds before going to the paninoteca next door for a quick lunch on the fountain steps. My friends and I used to meet up at that fountain before nights out. I remember one, but don't remember which one time, walking into the middle and thinking how incredible it was that this space—not just these materials, but the area bounded within them—had seen so much of history. Hadrian stepped on this pavement. Brunelleschi did. Michelangelo did. Who knows who else did? 

And thus my career as an art historian was born.

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Everything will change

If you had told the awkward, socially-anxious 14-year-old that spent Forensics trips listening to the Postal Service on his iPod that he'd be seeing them in Paris 9 years later on the first left of a 3 month trip that would take him across Europe for the fourth time to spend 2 months on an archaeological dig in Turkey, I don't think there's a chance that he would have believed that that was my future.

But here I am. 

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